I've been skating on ponds and lakes in New Jersey for a long time. What I've found out is, that it takes a long time to even think you're a pretty good judge of when it's safe to go out there and play.

A few years ago I even played hockey, on the Navesink River in Red Bank. Sure, I've fallen through a few times, most of which were shallow, up to the knee episodes. But I've also read and heard of many people losing their lives going out on frozen lakes, ponds and streams.

Kids should never do it alone and extreme caution should be used at all times. I've broken the rules a few times and was lucky enough to be alive to tell about it. I checked out the lake behind my house on Sunday.

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